I love my home state of Minnesota. It’s hard not to love – Minnesota has larger-than-life-and-stranger-than-life art sculptures, overly extensive freeway driving, enthusiastic patriots (similar to myself), irresistibly cute bunnies, and award-winning cakes and cookies. After a recent visit, I have plenty to share with you about this Land of 10,000 Lakes.
However, the butter heads and deep-fried Reese’s peanut butter cups will have to wait for another day, because chocolate calls. And it calls to us in the lovely, demure form of Sugar Sugar Candy, located in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis.
I had been planning this visit to Sugar Sugar for some time. Originally hoping to discover its glory under a frigid blanket of soft white snow (I know you’re picturing how beautiful Minnesota must be), my dreams were dashed at the same time as my darling 1990 Honda Accord LX. Car-less, and dreamless, I wiled away a Sugar Sugar-less wintry fortnight, before returning to my (current) home, some 1,600 miles away.
Fear not, for I returned to The North Star State, and have now been Sugar Sug-ified. And it is indeed a wondrous thing.
Store owner Joni Wheeler welcomed us to her small but well-stocked square of chocolate and candy bliss, and I soon found myself discoursing happily on Olive & Sinclair, Rogue, and B.T. McElrath chocolate bars. Even more exciting to my two, rather large ears-of-chocolate were mentions of Sweeteeth, Fresco and Komforte, chocolate companies I am much less familiar with taste-wise, and hence much more excited to try.
Joni’s selection of chocolate is constantly evolving, as she stocks fan favorites, tries out new selections (Ramen Noodle Bar review, coming soon), and ultimately, accepts what is delivered to her – she was out of O & S Cinn-Chili when I visited, due to the distributor bringing one-third of the amount she ordered. Once again, I am Cinn-Chili free, which is by no means a good thing. However, I have plenty of other terrific bars, purchased at Sugar Sugar, to showcase over the next days to weeks to months to however long it takes me to review them in thorough detail.
I would be remiss to stop at the chocolate. For what does every other candy store-goer in the country hope for and desire upon a visit to said candy store? Yes, it would be candy. And Sugar Sugar has candy in spades. From hard to find candy from the days of yore, that stubborn folk still seek out faithfully, to popular French treats such as guimauve, to candy bars iconic of St. Paul (Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls, I’m looking at you), Joni’s shop has it all.
Not the hugest candy fan, one item caught my eye that I had to have. Evaluating my already-large pile of chocolate bars to be purchased, I followed my instincts and ordered twenty of my favorite candy. British-styled sour Flying Saucers, or Satellite Wafers if you will. I should have bought the whole jar, that’s how much I love these things. I first (and second, and third) sampled these as a young ruffian, thanks to childhood friend Ellie and her doting transcontinental family. Having not had these since the days of ruffianhood, I literally did a wee jump before pouncing on these sour trollops.
After my visit to Sugar Sugar, I have enjoyed Fauchon caramels flavored with sea salt and Pineau des Charentes, a French fortified wine containing Cognac. I have delved into the sweet world of the Calisson, which is a world consisting of a sort of candied fruit marzipan, and royal icing. And I have devoured all my sour wafery Flying Saucers.
I should have purchased more of everything.
A huge thanks to Joni for her hospitality, quality chocolate knowledge, sweet treats, and willingness to let me photograph her tantalizing shop. The next time I’m back in Minnesota, nothing will stop me from visiting Sugar Sugar again, not even another car accident (knock on wood that I haven’t just jinxed myself).
3803 Grand Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Stay tuned as I slowly make my way through the fancypants chocolate bars, aka the stuff that dreams are made of, purchased recently from Sugar Sugar.